Posts Tagged ‘Maasai’

h1

Maasai Medical Camp

June 12, 2009

Wow, it’s been such an awesome week! This past week our team traveled to Kajiado, Kenya. Kajiado is in the rift valley province of Kenya, and there were some spectacular sights as we drove out to the middle of nowhere. We stayed with a missionary couple, Josiah and Sarah Kirisuah. Josiah and Sarah are of the Maasai tribe, and they live on a beautiful piece of land that overlooks a valley where Josiah’s native tribe of ~400 live. Josiah is a pastor at the local church that they started, in addition to the church, the Kirisuah’s also started a primary school for the local Maasai children.

Sarah and Josiah showed us such hospitality. For each meal, Sarah created wonderful dishes that filled our stomachs and our hearts. She also took the time to explain many recipes to us so we can replicate them when we return home 🙂 Josiah and Sarah have an extraordinarily beautiful piece of land, and it was so neat to hear Josiah talk about the land as God’s portion for him and his family. God has truly blessed this family with many talents (their daughter, Neema, is an extraordinary award-winning singer), great dreams (they hope to open a medical clinic, Neema hopes to open a school for arts), and outstanding relationships with their Maasai family and friends. If you Google “Maasai”, you’ll probably see a picture of a tall, lean warrior with a red and blue plaid cape over his shoulders. You’ll probably find stories of how the Maasai drink blood and how they are a ‘culturally preserved’ tribe. You may or may not find that the Maasai people are some of the kindest, healthiest (they live on meat and milk, yet have no heart problems?), most genuine people you can ever meet.

We helped out the village with building a dam so that they could one day have a large water source. The dry summer tends to be very difficult for the heardsman and farmers, and the dam offers hope that they can continue to make a living the way they have for hundreds of years. We helped by hauling huge stones (the area is FULL of rocks), we also had an assembly line where we passed cement up to the dam wall. It was great to mix in with all of the Maasai, and we had no idea what they were saying- because they speak Maasai, so the little bit of Kiswahili that we know was basically useless. But the smiles and funny interactions exchanged made us all instant friends. I’m not going to go on and on about how awesome the Maasai are, you’ll just have to come out to Kenya to experience it yourself 🙂

I got stung by a wasp on my first trip to the restroom, and I wanted to document the moment. This is such a beautiful picture, Nemma, the singer, decided to hold my hands- and this beautiful picture is the result!

This past week was filled with the extraordinary wonders of God’s creation. The landscape was beautifully filled with tall, thorny Acacia trees, towering red termite hills, sparse shrubs and blue skies that went on forever. At night, we got to watch the moon rise (I’ve NEVER seen a moon rise before), and I swear we could see each of the stars in the Milky Way. This past week was full of relaxation and beautiful sights, but we also did some hard work. Like I mentioned earlier, we helped to schlep materials for building a dam. The day before we left, we set up a small medical camp (which we advertised when helping out with the dam). We opened up the small church and about 150 people ended up coming! We held the camp from about 10am-4pm. My job was to do an ENT(ears, nose, throat) examination, and I also checked the eyelids for paleness that could suggest anemia. Here are some realizations:

-Children do not like ear scopes. In fact, they are terrified of them. The children like to slump to the floor, which makes it necessary for me to go down to the floor to get a peek into their ears and nose- all in all, it often looked like I was pinning a child on the floor, I promise I was only trying to help.
-The insides of peoples’ noses look different from one another. I mean, seriously, there are so many different inner-nose structure types. It was pretty interesting. But, when the interesting nose structures were inflamed or incredibly snotty- that’s when things got kind of gross.
-Apparently elderly Maasai women don’t have people asking them to open their mouths very often. Whenever I would demonstrate how they were to show me their lovely tonsils, they would laugh quite a bit. The women, lovingly called the “grandmothers’, also giggled when I proceeded to look up their noses.
-I know absolutely nothing about eyes, ears, noses and throats. I mean, I can tell if something looks bad, but I have absolutely no training to diagnose anything. But no worries, once the patients passed me and Ben for blood pressure, they went to fake Dr. Daniel and then proceeded to the pseudo-pharmacists Lauren and Courtney. No worries though, we did have Pamella, an LIA staff member and registered nurse on hand. So we were semi-legitimate.

The people needed basic medicines: de-wormers, pain relievers, antibiotics, anti-fungal medications- so our lack of knowledge about most things medical didn’t matter too much. The medical camp was a fun experience, though Daniel and Ben are feeling a little under the weather today, so keep them in your prayers.

Some fun experiences I had in Kajiado:
– We watched a goat castration (i.e. vasectomy) and we documented it with video and pictures
– We watched a goat become our dinner (I wrote a detailed how-to list for how to have goat for dinner)
– We drank copious amounts of Kenyan tea (tea, milk, water and sugar- mmmm)
– I got to take some AWESOME runs– my shoes are now a terra-cotta red color from the beautiful Kenyan dirt
– I fully intend on going back to Kajiado, and I told Sarah and Josiah that I would be back to visit them. Who knows? Maybe I can work in their dream clinic someday 🙂 P.S. It’ll take about 4 million Kenyan schillings ($50,000) for them to get the clinic up and running- if you happen to want to donate, let me know!
– I miss e-mailing Daniel. We didn’t have any internet access this past week, and I’ve missed talking to him. He arrived safely in California last week, and he’s been going through his orientation these past few days! It’s been so nice to finally read e-mails from him. Keep him in your prayers please!

Tomorrow we are headed back to Kibera slum to do a school outreach program with Nairobi Pentacostal Church. Pray that we’re able to have some good interactions with the children- as you may have read in the last post, the slums are a difficult place to be. We’re also not really sure what we’re doing, and we don’t know how much of a language barrier there will be, so I’m just praying that God leads us into some awesome fellowship with the people we meet. And I also want to thank God for the work he’s doing in the lives of people back home. I’ve been praying for many things this summer, especially for my family, and our Lord is faithful! Prayers are being answered!

What a beautiful picture of joy and laughter

What a beautiful picture of joy and laughter

God bless you all!
Holly